A Silly Horror Story for the Modern Age

     You buy all of your soaps from the weathered looking old man at the local farmer’s market. He says they are organic, handcrafted by him personally, and of the highest quality. Scented with essential oils, the soaps are made with the traditional base of lye and animal fat. It’s all so natural and classic—this appeals to your fondness for tradition and simplicity.

     Your aged acquaintance is happy to tell you that he has an Etsy store as well, for the days you just can’t get out to the market but want to stock up on his products. How cute! The man is very amicable, although a bit unnervingly eager of temperament and oddly sunken in the eyes. His hands are quite shaky, speech a little slurred. Most likely he has Parkinson’s or some other degenerative disease, you assume. Poor guy. He must receive help in his tasks from a younger relative or friend. There is a woman about the right age to be his daughter who mans the seller’s booth with him. Her hands are pretty shaky too. 

     When you get home from your recent market visit, you decide to do some casual research while resting against your kitchen counter. It’s dinnertime and the dish in the oven still has to cook a bit longer, so you’re restless. 

     “How do you make lye?” You google. 

     The search results tell you of methods that involve boiling ashes in water. Still in a curious mood, you open your Etsy app and search the old man’s business name. A listing of various familiar soaps comes up under his shop. You click “Shop Info.” 

     Without warning, your housemate steps into the kitchen and over-excitedly tries to remove the dish from the oven. One of the potholders slips and they burn their finger. As they exclaim in pain, the scent of burning flesh wafts to your nostrils. It feels so strangely familiar, sinking deep into your pores. Your hunger increases. 

     Eyes quickly flitting downwards back to your screen, you read through the “Shop Info.” 

     A wild and nervous beating echoes in your chest as you read that the aged soapmaker has outlined his main employment as being in the family business of graveyard caretaking.

The Tangling Wild- a Journey Through the Rocky Mountains in Summer!

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Within my spiritual belief system, trees are held as sacred. The forest is a place of wonder and enchantment; it is where many connect with their gods, where dryads glide from branch to branch in blessed felicity, and where the soul can find rest and healing like no other. Trees ascend to the peaks of towering hills and mountains that stand rooted against the skyline, as if Mother Earth herself took a paintbrush and covered the landscape’s backdrop in magnificence. Woodlands and wild mountains serve as a reminder that if we will seek beauty in the far reaches of our planet, from the rich soil to the tallest peaks, ascending ever towards the heavens, wisdom and peace will be revealed to our innermost selves. Like fragrant blossoms among the holy, verdant pines, the treasures that nature has to offer are both vibrant and boundless.

Summer is very nearly over, but as a toast to the last few days of the season, enjoy this voyage through the greenery of Aspen and Vail in August!

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“The forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself.  Nature is not merely created by God, nature is God.  Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with his entire body, breath sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness.”

~Richard Nelson

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“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”

~Aldous Huxley

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 “Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!”

~William Butler Yeats

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“All life is figured by them as a Tree. Igdrasil, the Ash-tree of existence, has its roots deep-down in the kingdoms of Death: its trunk reaches up heaven-high, spreads its boughs over the whole Universe: it is the Tree of Existence.  At the foot of it, in the Death-Kingdom, sit the three Fates – the Past, Present and Future; watering its roots from the Sacred Well.  It’s “bough,” with their buddings and disleafings, – events, things suffered, things done, catastrophes, – stretch through all lands and times.  Is not every leaf of it a biography, every fiber there an act or word?  Its boughs are the Histories of Nations.  The rustle of it is the noise of Human Existence, onwards from of old. I find no similitude so true as this of a Tree.  Beautiful; altogether beautiful and great.” 

~Thomas Carlyle   

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 “When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of the place, and the awful gloom of this doomed cavern then strike you with the presence of a deity?”

~Seneca  

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“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”

~John Muir 

 

Have a jubilant weekend, darlings!

 

 photography ©mine, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a Faery hiding in my garden!

There's a Faery hiding in my garden!

“Child of pure, unclouded brow
And dreaming eyes of wonder!
Though time be fleet and
I and thou are half a life asunder,
Thy loving smile will surely hail
The love-gift of a fairy tale.”
~Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

Have you played with the faeries today? If not, I suggest flitting over to a nearby butterfly garden or natural spring to drink honeyed nectar with some winged companions. Wrap yourself in glittering gossamer and dance as you evoke that long-buried childlike wonder…what do you have to lose? Teeheehee! Have another lovely poem, and then I shall instruct you on how to create some fairy-friendly delicacies!

“The woods are full of fairies!
The trees are alive:
The river overflows with them.
See how they dip and dive!
What funny little fellows!
What dainty little dears!
They dance and leap, and prance and peep,
And utter fairy cheers!”
~Author unknown

If you want the Faeries to join you on your picnic, you must provide them with sweet and otherworldly fare. These two recipes are taken from the Council of Elrond’s recipe section.

*~Aurora Strawberry Ice~*
Prep Time: 5 min. prep; 3 hrs. freezer + 30 min. refrigeration

Ingredients
2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1/2 cup sugar or equivalent sweetener
1-1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions
Whirl ingredients together in blender or food processor until smooth.

Pour into freezer tray or 8-in. square metal pan. Freeze 3 hours or until firm.

Take out of freezer and leave in refrigerator about 30 min. before serving with a puff of whipped cream on top.

Serves four. As light and ethereal as a summer morning!

*~Miruvor, the cordial of Imladris~*

Ingredients
2 1/ 2 cups apple juice
1 3/ 4 cups white grape juice
2 cups ginger ale
3 tsp. honey
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves

Instructions
Simmer juices in covered pot. Add honey and stir until thoroughly dissolved.

Stir in spices. Simmer for a minute or so more, then remove from heat.

Add ginger ale, stir, and pour into glass bottles. Let cool for a few minutes, then put in refrigerator for a few hours to chill.

Serves 6-12. Miruvor is also good served warm.

“…he drained a cup that was filled with a fragrant draught, cool as a clear fountain, golden as a summer afternoon.” (From the Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien)
Miruvor, the cordial of Imladris, was supposedly made with the undying flowers of the garden of Yavanna— one of the Valar, or angelic/demigod type beings of Arda
(the World in Tolkien’s legendarium). This recipe fits Tolkien’s description fairly well!

There you go! Enjoy your Fairy Day, and remember to always make time for magic and whimsy 😉

-T.K.

(first poem ©Lewis Carroll, others anonymous, photography own, recipe quotations ©J.R.R. Tolkien, recipes ©Councilofelrond.com [contributing users])